Community and social interventions at a geriatric medical OPD.


Health and social services in Ireland tend to be relatively poorly coordinated. Surveys confirm the perceptions of older people with disability that access to and availability of both health and social services are limited. Multi-disciplinary geriatric medical clinics may provide a focus for better utilization and coordination of these services. The purpose of this study was to measure not only the existing service use but also the potential for community and social-care intervention with older people living in the community when using multi-disciplinary geriatric medical clinics. A sample of 60 consecutive patients aged over 65, attending our geriatric medical OPD for the first time, were interviewed using a semistructured questionnaire on the current and potential use of community and social care services. Our service arranged for 229 interventions or referral to services, an average of 3.8 interventions per patient. Ninety-six services were already in place (an average of 1.6 per patient) and 455 services were not applicable, an average of 7.6 per patient. A combined health and social care response is critical to a successful strategy to disease and disability in later life. Although this study describes a relative utilitarian approach to increase community and social care support, it shows there is significant scope to improve uptake of basic community and social care services by a focussed approach to the care needs of older people.

Cite this paper

@article{Hin2002CommunityAS, title={Community and social interventions at a geriatric medical OPD.}, author={P Yon Hin and Jarlath Brennan and Desmond O'Neill}, journal={Irish medical journal}, year={2002}, volume={95 8}, pages={239-40} }